Avoid The Appearance Of Evil – VAYESHEV

Vayeshev2

D’VAR TORAH
VAYESHEV – AND HE SETTLED
BERESHIT (GENESIS) 37.1-40.23

Avoid The Appearance Of Evil

• Bereshit / Genesis 37:1 – 40:23
• Amos /Amos 2:6 – 3:8
• Mattityahu / Matthew 1:1-6

Bereshit {39:6} He left all that he had in Yoseph’s (Joseph’s) hand. He did not concern himself with anything, except for the food which he ate. Yoseph was handsome, and well-favored. {39:7} It happened after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes on Yoseph; and she said, “Lie with me.”{39:8} But he refused, and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has put all that he has into my hand. {39:9} He is not greater in this house than I, neither has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and chat’at (sin) against G-D?”{39:10} It happened that as she spoke to Yoseph day by day, that he did not listen to her, to lie by her, or to be with her. {39:11} It happened about this time, that he went into the house to do his work, and there were none of the men of the house inside. {39:12} She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” He left his garment in her hand, and ran outside. {39:13} It happened, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had run outside, {39:14} that she called to the men of her house, and spoke to them, saying, “Behold, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice. {39:15} It happened, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment by me, and ran outside.”
There is so much we can learn from the story of Yoseph. Volumes can be written on it. However, the passages that I have focused in on teach a very important principle. In studying these verses I have taken this principle and have incorporated it into both my personal and professional life. Yoseph, we are aware, was a single man; however, this principle applies to single woman, married men and married woman as well.
Potiphar’s wife had her eyes on Yoseph. He was young, he was handsome and he was a slave. Certainly she thought that she would be able to seduce him without too much effort. Most men would have easily given in to this woman’s advances, but not so with Yoseph, he answered to a higher authority. Is that what got Yoseph into trouble, his not giving in to his boss’s wife? Certainly when we consider the events leading up to accusations she made against him we could come to that conclusion. But was it his running out on Potiphar’s wife that got him into trouble or was that only a symptom of the problem?
Tesolonilim Alef (1Thessalonians) {5:22} Abstain from all appearance of evil.
This verse explains the cause of Yoseph’s problem. He had grown so familiar with being in Potiphar’s home that he became complacent about being there when he was alone in the house with Mrs. Potiphar.
We know from the Scripture passages above that Mrs Potiphar made advances over and over again to Yoseph, so he was certainly aware of her intentions. Why then would he risk being alone with her in the house? Had Yoseph not allowed himself to be alone in the house with this woman he would have not found himself in a compromising position. Granted HaShem works all things out for our good but perhaps two years in prison could have been avoided while still allowing G-d to achieve the final chapter of this story.
And so the principle we can gain from this story and apply to our own lives is; never put yourself into a possibly compromising position by being alone with a woman/man who is not your wife/husband, anywhere. This includes a car! As I said, I have applied this principle to both my personal and professional life and it has served me well. I have even gone further and will never counsel a woman alone in my office. As well I must add that I also avoid being alone with a man I do not know and certainly I avoid being alone with a child. We need to avoid the appearance of evil and we need to protect ourselves from the possible evil designs of other people and HaSatan (Satan).

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Less Than We Deserve – VAYISHLACH

Vayishlach

D’VAR TORAH
VAYISHLACH – AND HE SENT
BERESHIT (GENESIS) 32.4-36.43

Less Than We Deserve

• Bereshit / Genesis 32:4 – 36:43
• Ovadia / Obadiah 1:1-21
• Ivrim / Hebrews 11:11-20

Bereshit {32:24} Ya’acov (Jacob) was left alone, and wrestled with an ish (man) there until the breaking of the day. {32:25} When he saw that he did not prevail against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Ya’acov’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled. {32:26} The ish said, “Let me go, for the day breaks.” Ya’acov said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” {32:27} He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Ya’acov.” {32:28} He said, “Your name will no longer be called ‘Ya’acov,’ but, ‘Yisrael,’ for you have fought with G-D and with men, and have prevailed.”
As this Parasha opens we read about Ya’acov sending out messengers to his brother Esav with idea of impressing him by his wealth. To me, this is evidence that Ya’acov still feared his brother. Further proof of his fear is revealed, when we read that after finding out that his brother was coming to meet him with four hundred men, he went into panic mode and divided his company into two camps. Subsequently, Ya’acov’s fear causes him to question G-d and the promises He had made to him. Finally, Ya’acov takes matters into his own hands and attempts to bribe his way out of trouble by sending his brother waves of gifts.
It is amazing how debilitating fear can be. It clouds our judgement and causes us to do things we might normally not do. Ya’acov had been running a way all his life; first from his brother, then from his father-in-law and then once again from his brother. I would be tempted to say that Ya’acov may have had a problem with confrontation. Most people who have this problem and prefer to run then to confront. We pick up our commentary where Ya’acov before learning how to confront man had to learn how to confront G-d.
Ya’acov had always wrestled with man and failed. However, his problem was not with man it was with G-d. HaShem had chosen him to be the heir of the promises given to his fathers and if he was going to succeed as the heir he had to learn how to lean on G-d; hence the divine confrontation.
In the opening of this story we are told that Ya’acov wrestled with a man. However, it did not take long for him to realize that his opponent was no mere man; he was wrestling with G-d. Standing his ground and fighting was a totally new experience for Ya’acov, he never stood and fought, he much preferred to run. Not this time, however. Obviously, Ya’acov had enough of running; this time he was going to stand his ground and fight.
For Ya’acov to become the true heir of the promises he needed to take hold of G-d and not let go, he need to stop relying on himself and his own wits and start relying of G-d and that is exactly what happened. Ya’acov refused to let go of G-d until He blessed him. Yes, Ya’acov got his blessing, but more then that he finally stopped running and put his trust in HaShem. As a result of this victory in his life Ya’acov’s name was changed and he was blessed by G-d.
What was Ya’acov’s blessing? He was blessed with prevailing with G-d and man. In other words, whereas before he was a self centered man Ya’acov became a G-d centered man. However, you cannot run from G-d for so many years and expect there to be no consequences.
Bereshit {32:25} When He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Ya’acov’s thigh was strained, as he wrestled.
Ya’acov had to live with this consequence for the rest of his life. It was a constant reminder of his past disobedience.
We would do well to take a lesson from Ya’acov. We can not allow fear to consume us and cloud our judgement. We can not run from confrontation but must learn how to confront and deal with difficult situations in our lives. Most of all if we want to prevail with G-d and man we must cling to HaShem and refuse to let Him go until He blesses us. As with Ya’acov we have a past and as a result consequences. Thankfully HaShem is merciful and always give us less then we deserve.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Time Flies When You Are In Love

Hashuvah2

D’VAR TORAH

VAYETZE – AND HE WENT OUT

BERESHIT (GENESIS) 28.10-32.3

  • Bereshit / Genesis 28:10-32:2
  • Hoshea / Hosea 3:6-14:10
  • Yochanan / John 1:19-51

 

Bereshit {29:16} Lavan had two daughters. The name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. {29:17} Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful and well favored. {29:18} Ya’akov (Jacob) loved Rachel. He said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter.” {29:19} Lavan said, “It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” {29:20} Ya’akov served seven years for Rachel. They seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her.

Have you ever noticed that when you love doing something, even if it is hard work, it seems easy? Also when you love your job, the day just seems to fly by. Compare that to a boring job, one that you just can not get into; for a job like that the day just seems to drag on and quitting time can not come fast enough.

My wife and I, as of this writing, have been married one month shy of twenty two years. As with all marriages we have had our challenges but because of the love we have for each other the years seem to have just flown by.

Every week here at Congregation Melech Yisrael, at both our Erev Shabbat and Shabbat services, we recite the liturgical prayer: “V’ahav’ta et Ad-nai Elohecha, b’chal l’vav’ch uv’chal naf’sh’cha uv’chal m’odecha (And you shall love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your resources). From what we know about how time flies when we love something, we can appreciate that loving HaShem is very significant.

I have been a Believer in Yeshua HaMashiach for more than thirty years and because of my love for HaShem those years seem to have passed like the blink of an eye. This is significant when we consider how important it is for us to stay focused on a walk of righteousness. If it felt like our relationship with the L-rd was dragging, just think how difficult it would be for us to persevere in our walk and in our relationship with Him.

There is yet another thing I would like us to notice from our story of Ya’acov and Rachel. Even though Ya’acov was fooled and disappointed by his father-in-law Laban, he did not give up on his love for Rachel; in stead he gladly worked another seven years for her hand in marriage.

Time and time again I have come across people, Believers, who after being disappointed because their prayers were not answered or because they felt abandoned by G-d, fall away from serving Him or completely backslide into their old life. Sadly, this is only an indication of their lack of true love for HaShem.

I truly hope that this can not be said of you and that your love for HaShem is so strong that no matter what happens in your life your love for Him remains constant and the days and years that you spend with Him just feel like they are flying by.

Mizmor (Psalm) {119:32} I shall run the way of Your commandments, for You will enlarge my heart. {119:33} Teach me, HaShem, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. {119:34} Give me understanding, that I may observe Your Torah and keep it with all my heart. {119:35} Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. {119:36} Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to dishonest gain. {119:37} Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in your ways. {119:38} Establish Your Word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You.

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Dan and Melissa David in Concert Nov. 9th!

danmelissaflyers

Dan and Melissa David in Concert Nov. 9th!

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Hatred Destroys Lives – Toldot

Toldos

D’VAR TORAH

TOLDOT – GENERATIONS

BERESHIT (GENESIS) 25.19-28.9

 

Hatred Destroys Lives

”          Bereshit / Genesis 25:19-28:9

”          Shmuel Alef / 1 Samuel 20:18-42

”          Romim / Romans 9:1-13

 

 

Bereshit {27:41} Esav (Esau) hated Ya’akov (Jacob) because of the blessing with which his ‘ab (father) blessed him. Esav said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my ‘ab are at hand. Then I will kill my brother Ya’akov.” {27:42} The words of Esav, her elder son, were told to Rivkah (Rebecca). She sent and called Ya’akov her younger son, and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esav comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. {27:43} Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Lavan, my brother, in Charan. {27:44} Stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury turns away; {27:45} until your brother’s anger turn away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send, and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?”

In this story of Esav and Ya’acov we can see the affects of hatred on a person’s life, as well as the affect it has on the life of the hated person.

We are told here that Esav hated Ya’acov. We know that Esav was the father of the Edomites. It was the Edomites who stood by and watched as the Assyrians attack and kill thousands in Yisrael (Israel) and who themselves lay in wait and killed those from Yisrael who were attempting to escape from the Assyrians. Sad when you consider that Esav and Ya’acov were blood brothers. They should have loved and respected each other and that love should have been passed down through the subsequent generations. Instead, because Esav hated Ya’acov, that hate was passed down and even exists between their generations to this very day.

But the affects of the hatred even runs deeper. Esav because of his hatred was estranged from his brother and eventually his family because of the pagan women he married. Eventually Esav left the faith of his forefather Avraham and fell into idolatry. Because deception leads to greater deception, over the centuries, the religion of Islam was born and as a result, the hatred between Jews and Muslims has multiplied.

However, Esav’s hatred did not only affect him and his generations it also affected Ya’acov and his generations. As a result of Esav’s hatred for his brother, Ya’acov had to run for his life. From that time on Ya’acov mistrusted Esav. This mistrust was revealed in Scripture when the two encountered each other while Ya’acov was fleeing from Laban. Ya’acov told Esav he would meet him in Seir but then proceed with his entourage in an opposite direction towards Succoth (Bereshit 33:13ff). So Esav’s hatred affected the life and the decisions Ya’acov made, after being reunited with his brother. Despite the fact that they seemed to have reconciled, Ya’acov still mistrusted his brother. This mistrust has been passed down through the generations of Ya’acov unto this very day.

Mattityahu (Matthew) {5:21} You have heard that it was said by them of old time, “You shall not murder; and whosoever shall murder shall be in danger of the judgment:” {5:22} But I say unto you, “That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…”

Let this story of Esav and Ya’acov, be a lesson for us all. Our hatred of anyone, will not only affect us and the person we hate but it will also affect both parties’ future generations.

Yochanan (John) {13:34} “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. {13:35} “By this all men will know that you are My talmidim (disciples), if you have love for one another.”

 

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Testing Will Come- Chayei Sarah

Sara

D’VAR TORAH

CHAYEI SARAH – SARAH LIVED

BERESHIT (GENESIS) 23.1-25.18)

 

 

Testing Will Come

 

 

  • Bereshit / Genesis 23:1-25:18
  • Malachim Alef / 1 Kings 1:1-31
  • Korintim Alef / 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

 

 

Bereshit {24:1} Avraham (Abraham) was old, and well stricken in age. HaShem had blessed Avraham in all things. {24:2} Avraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please put your hand under my thigh. {24:3} I will make you swear by HaShem, the G-D of heaven and the G-D of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my ben(son) of the daughters of the Cana’anites, among whom I live. {24:4} But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Yitzchak (Isaac).”{24:5} The servant said to him, “What if the ishah (woman) is not willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?”{24:6} Avraham said to him, “Beware that you do not bring my son there again. {24:7} HaShem, the G-D of heaven, who took me from my ‘ab’s (father’s) house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. {24:8} If the ishah is not willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this my oath. Only you shall not bring my son there again.”

Without a doubt HaShem blesses us when we are obedient. HaShem told Avraham that he should not allow his son to intermarry with the pagan Canaanites’. So when looking for a wife for his son Yitzchak he made his servant vow that he would not take a wife for him from among the Canaanites’. He made him vow that he would go to relatives from where he was born and take Yitzchak a wife from there. In addition HaShem had told Avraham that he should never go back from where he came. So when asked by his servant what should be done if the girl he chooses will not return with him Avraham stayed faithful to HaShem’s command and had his servant vow never to bring Yitzchak back to that place.

I do not think it was by sheer luck that Avraham’s servant found a girl, had his prayer answered, found out that she was related of his master’s family and that she was willing to go to Yitzchak. HaShem blessed the trip. Let us face it; HaShem blessed those who are obedient.

I agree that it would have been easy for Avraham to resist taking a wife for Yitzchak from among the Canaanites’. They were a pagan society and a cursed nation. HaShem had promised Avraham their land so they were going to eventually be disposed. However, it would have been more difficult for Avraham to resist the second situation. When asked what if the girl his servant found would not return with him, Avraham without hesitation rejected that his son go back to where they came from. He knew that HaShem will be true to his promise so he would not allow his family to be removed from the land he was promised.

Avraham was faithful and because of his faithfulness HaShem blessed him and provided Yitzchak with the perfect wife.

I trust that we are all taking a lesson from this story because many of us second guess HaShem’s commands and at times go against them. I come across this most in the area of employment. When a person joins Congregation Melech Yisrael, having come from a church, most of the time they have a job which require them to work on the Shabbat. Once incorporated into the congregation and they understand the sanctity of the Shabbat, they ask me if they should quit their job. My answer is always for them to first pray and ask HaShem to put it upon their employer’s heart to release you from working on the Shabbat. HaShem knows our heart and if our desire is not to work on the Shabbat He will work it out. I have also come across those from within the congregation who have lost their job and are looking for work. It is very difficult to find employment that does not require you to work on Shabbat, especially for jobs that require shift work. It is easy to turn down prospective employers that require working on Shabbat if you have just started looking for work, however, as the week, and months pass with no prospect of finding a job that does not require having to work on the Shabbat, taking any job becomes a lot more tempting.

Avraham was tested; he made the correct choices; HaShem blessed him for it. We should not think that we are immune from G-d testing us.

Yaacov (James) {1:2} Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, (1:3} knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. {1:4} And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

I have seen many people give in and be disobedient to HaShem’s commandments. As a result they suffered for it both physically and spiritually. I have also seen many who suffered, at first, because they were obedient to G-d commandments only in the end to be blessed both physically and spiritually.

My prayer for you is that when your time of testing comes that you will not compromise and that you will remain obedient to HaShem.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Not A Respecter Of Man – Nitzavim

Nitzvaim_Vayeilech

D’VAR TORAH

NITZAVIM – YOU ARE STANDING

DEVARIM (DEUTERONOMY) 29:9-30:20

 

By: Rabbi Farber

 

Torah:                          Devarim/Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20

Haftarah:                     Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:10-63:9

Brit Chadashah:          Romim/Romans 15:1-11

 

 

 

Devarim {29:10} You stand this day all of you before HaShem your G-D; your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, even all the men of Yisrael (Israel), {29:11} your little ones, your wives, and your sojourner who is in the midst of your camps, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water; {29:12} that you may enter into the brit (covenant) of HaShem your G-D, and into His oath, which HaShem your G-D makes with you this day; {29:13} that He may establish you this day to Himself for a people, and that He may be to you a G-D, as He spoke to you, and as He swore to your avot (fathers), to Avraham (Abraham), to Yitzak (Isaac), and to Ya’akov (Jacob).

This Scripture passage is about bnei Yisrael (the children of Israel) entering into the brit (covenant) of HaShem just prior to entering into the Promised Land. Moshe (Moses) tells us that the entire congregation of Yisrael, which we know was comprised of a mixed multitude (those born as direct descendants of the patriarchs and those born from among the goyim/nations) is standing before HaShem, their G-d, on the banks of the Yarden (Jordan). As I see it, bnei Yisrael is standing before HaShem their G-d and making a declaration of faith – saving faith! How does one enter into the brit of G-d? It is by becoming a follower of G-d. In order for G-d to be your  G-d and for you to enter into covenant with Him you must come to Him through saving faith. This is the same process for Jew and non-Jew alike, and this is the process, I believe, we are seeing take place here with bnei Yisrael.

In the book of Galitim (Galatians) in the Brit Chadashah (Renewed Covenant) Shaul (Paul) is speaking to the new non-Jewish believers in Galatia and assuring them that they have already entered into the brit of HaShem through their saving faith in Yeshua HaMashiach. He points to their changed lives, which included rejection of idolatry, as proof of their salvation. Plus, these non-Jewish Galitim (Galatians) believers, according to Shaul, were showing clear evidence of being filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). However, Jewish believers from Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) came to these new non-Jewish Galitim believers and told them that they were not truly saved and therefore, had not fully entered into the brit of HaShem. They must, they were told, convert to Judaism through the rite of b’rit milah (circumcision) before they could fully enter into the brit of G-d. To these Jewish believers from Yerushalayim, who were claiming to have come from Ya’acov (James), conversion was more than just spiritual, it was also physical. So they were erroneously telling the Galitim non-Jewish believers that they could not be part of the brit of HaShem unless they converted to Judaism symbolized by circumcision. Shaul, of course, rejected their teaching and he devoted the entire book of Galitim to refuting the lies that these false teachers were perpetrating. Shaul taught:

Efesos (Ephesians) {2:8} For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of G-d: {2:9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Now, do not go ahead of me by thinking, “Does not Rabbi Ya’acov know that there is no salvation without repentance and the shedding of blood?” Yes, I know that! Bnei Yisrael knew that also because they were already involved in the vicarious, substitutional blood atonement rites. They were offering the blood of lambs, bulls and goats for the remission of their sins. The fact is that these lambs, which died in their place, were actually pointing them to the coming Mashiach (Messiah), G-d in the flesh, who would shed His blood, once-and-for-all, for the remission of the sin of the world. The entire system of korbanot (drawing near), translated in our English Bibles as sacrifices, were instituted by G-d all for the purpose of pointing bnei Yisrael to Yeshua HaMashiach, the ultimate Lamb of G-d. In Fact, the entire Torah points to Yeshua HaMashiach!

Notice also that the Scripture passage that I chose from this week’s Parasha tells us that it was not the priests or the leaders, or the important people of Yisrael that were standing before HaShem to make their declaration of faith and be saved. Every class of people was there, from the top echelon to the bottom. This, of course, is telling us that G-d is not a respecter of man. Human, worldly status is of no consequence to HaShem when it comes to salvation. This principle is also taught by Shaul in the Brit Chadashah.

Galitim {3:28} There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Yeshua HaMashiach. {3:29} And if you are Mashiach’s, then you are Avraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

I believe that the passage I quoted from Parasha Netzavim drives home the fact that we are saved by faith and faith alone, and that as far as salvation is concerned HaShem is not a respecter of man.

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Following Man Not G-d – Ki Tavo

Ki_Tavo

D’VAR TORAH

KI TAVO – WHEN YOU ARE COME

DEVARIM (DEUTERONOMY) 26.1-29.8

 

Torah:                          Devarim/Deuteronomy 26.1-29.8

Haftarah:                     Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60.1-22

Brit Chadashah:          Uri/Luke 23.26-56

 

 

Devarim {29:2} Moshe (Moses) called to all Yisrael (Israel), and said to them, You have seen all that HaShem did before your eyes in the land of Mitzrayim (Egypt) to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land; {29:3} the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders: {29:4} but HaShem has not given you a heart to know, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, to this day. {29:5} I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes have not grown old on you, and your shoe has not grown old on your foot. {29:6} You have not eaten bread, neither have you drunk wine or strong drink; that you may know that I am HaShem your G-D. {29:7} When you came to this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, came out against us to battle, and we struck them: {29:8} and we took their land, and gave it for an inheritance to the Reuvenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of the Manassites. {29:9} Keep therefore the Words of this brit (covenant), and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.

I can almost feel the frustration in Moshe’s voice as he shared these words with bnei Yisrael (the children of Israel). Was he ever angry with them! After everything HaShem had done for them up until this point yet they still did not have a clue about what was going on. G-d had shown them His grace and He had poured out His Spirit upon them. They had the ability to see, hear and understand who G-d was, what He was doing and what He expected of them but they did not have a heart for G-d and, therefore, could not see. They were a people filled with works, but no Spirit. Their attitude appears to be one of, “Forget about what G-d did for us yesterday what is G-d going to do for us today,” and Moshe knew it. That is why he felt it necessary to remind bnei Yisrael of all the things HaShem has already done for them.

It was not Moshe’s fault that these people were unappreciative towards G-d. Moshe had done his utmost to teach them. There was no better leader or teacher than Moshe; the problem was with the students. I get the impression from the dialogue that bnei Yisrael was just leaning on Moshe. Perhaps they pretended that they were interested in following the commandments of HaShem, when in reality they were really following the man and wanted to get into the land to settle down into living, what they thought to be normal lives.

When I read the book of Yehoshua (Joshua) and looked at the way bnei Yisrael related to him as their leader, I could see that, as it was with Moshe so it was with Yehoshua. Like with Moshe, bnei Yisrael were just leaning on Yehoshua. We see the proof of that, in that, as soon as bnei Yisrael got what they wanted, their inheritance of the land and after Yehoshua had died, the real intention of their hearts were exposed; they fell away from HaShem, as the book of Shoftim (Judges) tells us:

Shoftim {21:25} In those days there was no king in Yisrael: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Sadly, what went on with Moshe and his congregation of wanderers is not much different from what goes on in congregations today. The Rabbi teaches and preaches, teaches and preaches but for the most part it is all going over the heads of the people in the congregation. They complement the sermons, but their lives are not reflecting what the sermons are teaching – they are not changing. They come to Bible study, but they do not know or practice the theology that is being taught. They are sitting in the sanctuary on a weekly basis, but there is no evidence of a changed life. Seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear! I guess, like bnei Yisrael, these people are following the man and not the G-d that the man is representing. Moshe knew it; they were not fooling him and that is why he made the following statement:

Devarim {31:29} For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because you will do that which is evil in the sight of HaShem, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.

How many congregations do you know that fell apart because the leader died, left, or fell into sin? Why would something like that have to happen? Would you not think that the congregation would be mature enough in their faith, in the G-d they are following, to continue on in a sound doctrinal relationship with the L-rd, with or without their leader? Yes, they should! Especially if the leader gave them sound theological teaching. The problem is most congregations are like bnei Yisrael:

Shemot (Exodus) {20:18} All the people perceived the thundering, the lightning, the sound of the shofar, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled, and stayed at a distance. {20:19} They said to Moshe, “Speak with us yourself, and we will listen; but do not let G-D speak with us, lest we die.”

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Kumfuata mwanadamu sio Mungu – Ke Tavo

D’VAR TORATI

KI TAVO – UTAKAPO KUJA

DEVARIM (KUMBUKUMBU LA TORATI) 26.1-29.8

 

kichwa:                                    Kumfuata mwanadamu sio Mungu

 

Torah:                          Devarim/kumbukumbu la Torati 26.1-29.8

Haftarah:                     Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60.1-22

Brit Chadashah:          Uri/Luka 23.26-56

 

 

Devarim {29:2} Musa akawaita Israeli wote akawaambia, Mmeyaona yote Bwana aliyomfanya Farao katika nchi ya Misri mbele ya macho yenu, yeye na watumwa wake wote, na nchi yake yote;
(29:3) yale majaribu makuu yaliyoyaona macho yako; hizo ishara, na ile miujiza mikuu;
(29:4) lakini Bwana hakuwapa moyo wa kujua, wala macho ya kuona, wala masikio ya kusikia, hata leo hivi.
(29:5) Nami miaka arobaini nimewaongoza jangwani; nguo zenu hazikuchakaa juu yenu, wala kiatu chako hakikuchakaa katika mguu wako.
(29:6) Hamkula mkate, wala hamkunywa divai, wala kileo; ili mpate kujua kwamba Mimi ndimi Bwana, Mungu wenu.
(29:7) Nanyi mlipokuja mahali hapa, walitutokea kupigana juu yetu Sihoni mfalme wa Heshboni, na Ogu mfalme wa Bashani, tukawapiga;
(29:8) tukaitwaa nchi yao, nayo tukawapa Wareubeni, na Wagadi, na nusu ya kabila ya Manase, iwe urithi.
(29:9) Shikeni basi maneno ya agano hili myafanye, ili mfanikiwe katika yote mfanyayo
.

Ninaweza kabisa kuhisi kufufishwa moyo katika sauti ya Moshe anapo shiriki maneno haya na  bnei Yisrael (wana wa Israel). Alikuwa na hasira  nao! Hata baada ya mambo yoye HaShem aliyowafanyia hadi sasa bado hawakua na duku kuhusu kilichikuwa kinaendelea. Mungu aliwaochesha neema yake na akawamwagia Roho Wake juu yao.  Walikuwa na uwezo wa kuona, kusikia na kuelewa Mungu ni nani, ninini alichokuwa Akifanya na alicho kuwa akitarajia kutoka kwao lakini moyo wao hakuwa kwa Mungu na kwahiyo, wasingeli ona. Walikuwa ni watu waliojaa vitendo lakini bila roho. Nia yao ilionekana moja ya “Kusahau kuhusu Mungu alivyotutendea jana ninini Mungu atakalo tenda kesho na lile aAtakalotutendea leo.” Na Moshe alijua hilo.  Ndio maana aliona ni bora kuwakumbusha bnei Yisrael yale yote Mungu Alisha watendea.

Sio makosa ya Moshe kwa watu kukosa shukrani kwa Mungu. Moshe alifanya awezavyo kuwafundisha. Hakukuwa na kiongo au mwalimu bora kushinda Moshe; shida ilikuwa na wanafunzi.  Napata hisia kuwa kutokana na maelezo kuwa  bnei Yisrael walimtegemea Moshe. Pengine walijifanya kuwa walikuwa na hamu ya kufuata amri za  HaShem, ila kwa uhakika walikuwa wakimfuatua mwanadamu na walitaka kufika katika nchi na kutulia na kuishi, walichofikiria kuwa maisha ya kawaida

Ninaposoma kitabu cha Yehoshua (Joshua) na kutazama vile  bnei Yisrael walivyo husiana na yeye kama kiongozi wao,  niliona kuwa, ilivyo kuwa na Moshe ndivyo ilivyo kuwa na  Yehoshua. Kama ilivyo kuwa na Moshe, bnei Yisrael walikuwa tu wakimtegemea Yehoshua. Tunaona uhakika wa hayo, hivi, punde tu bnei Yisrael walipopata walichokuwa wakitaka, urithi waowa nchina Yehoshua alipofariki, kusudio haswa la mioyo yao ilijitokeza; waliachana na HaShe, kama kitabu cha washauri  kinavyo tuambia:

Shoftim {21:25Siku hizo hapakuwa na mfalme katika Israeli; kila mtu alifanya yaliyokuwa ni mema machoni pake mwenyewe.

Chakusikisha, kilicho endelea na Moshe na kusanyiko lake la wazungukaji, haina utofauti mkubwa na makusanyiko ya siku hizi.Sadly, Rabbi hufundisha na kuhubiri, , kufundisha na kuhubiri lakini lakini kwa wakati mwingi inapitia kwa vivchwa vya katika makusanyiko. Wanasifu mahubiri laini maisha yao haidhirishi mahubiri yanavyo fundisha – hawabadiliki. Wanahudhuria mafundisho ya Biblia lakini hwaelewi au hawatendi theologia wanayo fundishwa. Wanakaa katika jumba la maombi kila wiki , lakini hakuna ushahidi wa mabadilko ya maisha. Kuona hawaoni, na husikia hawasikii! Nafikiri, kama bnei Yisrael,hawa watu wanamfuata mwanadamu na sio Mungu ambaye mwanadamu anamuwakisha.  Moshe alijua haya, hawakumuhadaa na ndio maana alitoa maneno haya:

Devarim {31:29}Kwa sababu najua baada ya kufa kwangu mtajiharibu kabisa, na kukengeuka katika njia niliyowaamuru; nayo mabaya yatawapata siku za mwisho, kwa vile mtakavyofanya maovu machoni pa Bwana kumtia kasirani kwa kazi ya mikono yenu.  .

Nikusanyiko ngapi unazozifahamu ambazo zilivyunjika kiongozi alipo fariki, ondoka au kuanguka katika dhambi? Kwa nini kitu kama hicho kifanyike? Huwezi kufiria kuwa kusanyiko litakomaa katika imani, katika Kumfuata Mungu kuendelea katika mafundisho kamili ya uhusiano wao na Bwana  kuwe na kiongozi au la? Ndio, wanapaswa! Haswa kama kiongozi aliwapatia theologia ya kweli. Shida nikuwa kusanyiko nyingi ni kama bnei Yisrael:

Shemot (Kutoka) {20:18} Watu wote wakaona umeme na ngurumo na sauti ya baragumu, na ule mlima kutoka moshi; na watu walipoona hayo wakatetemeka, wakasimama mbali.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Following Man Not G-d 跟從人不跟從神

D’VAR TORAH

KI TAVO – 當你進去

DEVARIM (申命記) 26.1-29.8

 

Title:                            Following Man Not G-d 跟從人不跟從神

 

Torah:                          Devarim/申命記 26.1-29.8

Haftarah:                     Yeshayahu/以賽亞書 60.1-22

Brit Chadashah:          Uri/路加福音 23.26-56

 

 

申命記 29:2  摩西召了以色列眾人來,對他們說:「耶和華在埃及地,在你們眼前向法老和他眾臣僕,並他全地所行的一切事,你們都看見了, 29:3  就是你親眼看見的大試驗和神蹟,並那些大奇事。 29:4  但耶和華到今日沒有使你們心能明白,眼能看見,耳能聽見。 29:5  我領你們在曠野四十年,你們身上的衣服並沒有穿破,腳上的鞋也沒有穿壞。 29:6  你們沒有吃餅,也沒有喝清酒濃酒。這要使你們知道,耶和華是你們的神。 29:7  你們來到這地方,希實本王西宏、巴珊王噩都出來與我們交戰,我們就擊殺了他們, 29:8  取了他們的地給流便支派、迦得支派,和瑪拿西半支派為業。 29:9  所以你們要謹守遵行這約的話,好叫你們在一切所行的事上亨通。

摩西在對以色列人說這番話的時候,我幾乎可以感受到他聲音裡的挫折感。他是這麼的惱怒他們!在經歷了神直到此刻為他們所做的一切事情,他們仍然對這些事的屬靈意義懵然無知。神已經賜給他們恩典,也將自己的靈澆灌了他們。他們是有能力可以看見,聽到以及明白神到底是誰,祂正在做什麽,祂對他們的期望是什麽。然而他們缺乏一顆向着神的心,因此他們看也看不見。他們是一群只重視行為而沒有靈的人。他們的態度就是“別再提昨天神為我們做了什麽,要緊的是今天祂能為我們做什麽”。摩西知道這一點,因此他認為有必要提醒以色列人神曾經為他們做過的每一件事。

這些人對神的冷淡並非摩西的過錯。摩西已經盡了自己的力量去教導他們。還有哪一個領袖或教師好得過摩西?問題是在於這些學生們。我從這些對白中感覺到以色列人只是在依賴摩西。也許他們只是假裝有心跟從神的誡命,然而事實上他們只是在跟從這個人,以及想要進入迦南在那裡扎根安居,可以過他們嚮往的理想生活。

當我讀到約書亞記裡有關以色列人如何將約書亞尊為他們的領袖時,我就看見了,摩西和約書亞的情形是一樣的。以色列人依賴約書亞,正如他們依賴摩西一樣。後來以色列人進了迦南以及約書亞死後,他們的真心就被顯露;他們離開了神,正如士師記告訴我們的:

士師記 21:25  那時,以色列中沒有王,各人任意而行。

可悲啊,摩西和他的那一群漂流者的寫照,和今天好些會眾的情形並無太大差別。拉比不斷地教導,傳道,但他所說的大部份都飛越會眾的頭頂。會眾誇讚拉比的講道,然而他們的生命卻沒有反映出那些道理的教導-他們絲毫沒有改變。他們來參加查經,但他們不明白所聽到的,也不會照著行。他們每週坐在聖所,但卻沒有顯示生命改變的跡象-有眼卻看不見,有耳卻聽不明白!我猜他們正如以色列人一樣,只是跟從人,而不是跟從這個人所代表的神。摩西知道這一點;他們沒法騙得過他,這就是爲什麽摩西說了以下這番話:

申命記 31:29  我知道我死後,你們必全然敗壞,偏離我所吩咐你們的道,行耶和華眼中看為惡的事,以手所做的惹他發怒;日後必有禍患臨到你們。」

你可知道多少教會在領袖走了、死了或墮入罪中之後,會眾整個的垮掉?爲什麽會發生那樣的事?會眾難道不應該是對他們所跟從的神滿有信心,在正確而純全的道理上保持與神的關係繼續前進,不管他們的領袖在與不在?不錯,他們應該是這樣的!尤其是當這個領袖給予他們的教導是正確的神學!問題是,大部份的會眾都像以色列人一樣:

出埃及記 20:18  眾百姓見雷轟、閃電、角聲、山上冒煙,就都發顫,遠遠的站立, 20:19  對摩西說:「求你和我們說話,我們必聽;不要神和我們說話,恐怕我們死亡。」

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Когато следваш човек, а не Бог

Д’ВАР ТОРА

КИ ТАВО – КОГАТО ДОЙДЕШ

ДВАРИМ (ВТОРОЗАКОНИЕ) 26.1-29.8

 

Когато следваш човек, а не Бог

 

Тора:                           Дварим/Второзаконие 26.1-29.8

Афтара:                      Йешаяху/Исая 60.1-22

Брит Хадаша:             Ури/Лука 23. 26-56

 

 

Дварим (Второзаконие) {29:2} Моисей повика целия Израил и им каза: Вие видяхте всичко що направи Господ пред очите ви в Египетската земя, на Фараона и на всичките му слуги, и на цялата му земя; {29:3} големите изпитни, които очите ти видяха, знаменията и ония големи чудеса; {29:4} но до тоя ден Господ не ви даде сърце за да разбирате, очи за да виждате и уши за да слушате. {29:5} А Аз ви дадох за четиридесет години по пустинята, през което време дрехите ви не овехтяха на вас, и обущата ни на един от вас не овехтяха на ногата ти, {29:6} хляб не ядохте, и вино и спиртни пития не пихте, за да знаете, че Аз съм Господ вашият Бог. {29:7} И когато дойдохте на това място есевонският цар Сион и васанският цар Ог излязоха против нас на бой; а ние ги поразихме, {29:8} завладяхме земята им, и я дадохме за наследство на рувимците, на гадците и на половината от Манасиевото племе. {29:9} Пазете, прочее, думите на тоя завет и изпълнявайте ги, за да успявате във всичко що правите.

 

Мога почти да усетя емоцията в гласа на Мойсей, когато казва тези думи на децата на Израел. Дали им беше ядосан? След всичко, което Бог беше направил за тях, те все още нямаха представа какво се случва. Бог им беше показал благодатта Си и беше излял върху тях Духа Си. Те можеха да виждат, чуват и разбират кой е Бог, какво прави и какво очаква от тях, но нямаха сърце за Бога и затова не виждаха. Има хора пълни с дела, но без Дух. Тяхното отношение е следното: „Забравете какво Бог направи за нас вчера, какво прави за нас днес?” Мойсей знаеше това и затова трябваше да им напомни за всичко, което Бог беше направил за тях.

 

Мойсей не беше виновен, че тези хора не оценяваха какво Бог правеше за тях. Мойсей беше направил всичко, за да ги научи. Нямаше по-добър лидер или учител от Мойсей; проблемът беше в учениците. От разговора оставам с впечатлението, че децата на Израел просто се облягаха на Мойсей. Може би се преструваха, че се интересуват от това да следват Божиите заповеди, но всъщност следваха човека и искаха да отидат в Земята, за да се заселят и да водят нормален живот.

 

Когато чета книгата Исус Навин и виждам как децата на Израел се отнасят към лидера си, виждам, че е същото както с Мойсей – те отново се облягат на него. Доказателство за това е, че веднага щом като получиха това, което искаха и наследиха Земята и Исус Навин умря, истинските намерения на сърцата им бяха разкрити и те се отдалечиха от Бога, както ни казва книгата Съдии:

 

Шофтим (Съдии) {21:25} В ония дни нямаше цар в Израиля; всеки правеше каквото му се виждаше угодно.

 

За съжаление онова, което се случи с Мойсей и обществото, което го следваше, не е по-различно от това, което се случва с църквите ни днес. Водачът поучава и проповядва, но повечето от нещата не се схващат от хората в събранието. Те го хвалят за проповедта му, но животът им не отразява това, което се поучава в събранието – хората не се променят. Идват на библейски изучавания, но не практикуват това, което научават. Идват на църква всяка седмица, но няма доказателства за променен живот. Гледат, но не виждат, слушат, но не чуват! Предполагам, че като децата на Израел, тези хора следват човека, а не Бога, когото човекът се опитва да им покаже. Мойсей го знаеше и те не можеха да го заблудят, затова той каза следното:

Дварим (Второзаконие) {31:29} Понеже знам, че подир смъртта ми непременно ще се развратите и отклоните от пътя, за който ви заповядах; и в послешните дни злини ще ви застигнат, понеже ще вършите зло пред Господа и ще Го разгневявате с делата на ръцете си.

 

Колко църкви има, които се разпадат, защото лидерът им е паднал в грях, напуснал или починал! Защо се случва това? Не трябва ли събранията да са достатъчно зрели във вярата си, в Бога, когото следват, за да продължат в здравата доктрина на взаимоотношения с Господа – с или без лидера си? Да, би трябвало, особено ако лидерът им е проповядвал здравото учение. Проблемът е, че повечето събрания са като децата на Израел:

Шмот (Изход) {20:18} И всичките люде гледаха гърмежите, светкавиците, гласа на тръбата и димящата планина; и, като видяха, людете се оттеглиха и застанаха надалеч. {20:19} И рекоха на Моисея: Ти говори на нас, и ние ще слушаме; а Бог да не ни говори, за да не умрем.

     

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Man’s Law/G-d’s Law 人的法律 / 神的法律

D’VAR TORAH

KE TETZE – 當你出去

DEVARIM (申命記) 21.10-25.19

 

Title:                Man’s Law/G-d’s Law 人的法律 / 神的法律

 

Torah:                          Devarim/申命記 21.10-25.19

Haftarah:                     Yeshayahu/以賽亞書 54.1-10

Brit Chadashah:          Uri/路加福音 23.1-25

 

申命記 22:1  「你若看見弟兄的牛或羊失迷了路,不可佯為不見,總要把他牽回來交給你的弟兄。 22:2  你弟兄若離你遠,或是你不認識他,就要牽到你家去,留在你那裡,等你弟兄來尋找就還給他。 22:3  你的弟兄無論失落什麼,或是驢,或是衣服,你若遇見,都要這樣行,不可佯為不見。 22:4  你若看見弟兄的牛或驢跌倒在路上,不可佯為不見,總要幫助他拉起來。 22:5  「婦女不可穿戴男子所穿戴的,男子也不可穿婦女的衣服,因為這樣行都是耶和華你神所憎惡的。 22:6  「你若路上遇見鳥窩,或在樹上或在地上,裡頭有雛或有蛋,母鳥伏在雛上或在蛋上,你不可連母帶雛一併取去。

本週經文段落的讀後心得,以及我所寫下來的文字,都和上面所列的經文無關;那只是我隨意選出的一段。因為我要討論的題目並不特別與本週經文的任何一段有關,然而它卻是與整個段落有關的。事實上,當我讀完Ke Tetze段落之後,即時浮現于我腦海的經文是出自Va’etchanan(我懇求)段落:

申命記 4:7  那一大國的人有神與他們相近,像耶和華我們的神、在我們求告他的時候與我們相近呢? 4:8  又那一大國有這樣公義的律例典章、像我今日在你們面前所陳明的這一切律法呢?

本週Ke Tetze段落的確包含正直公義的審判、律例和典章。這裡所教導的涵蓋了一個公共社區生活上的每一方面,是真正公正可敬社會的根基。

舉個例子;誰說聖經裡的女子是被忽視的?Ke Tetze段落可以證明這是錯誤的說法。這裡面有的是保障女人尊榮和權益的律例及法令。誰說主人可以虐待奴僕(要記得聖經時代的奴隸大部份是基於破產的緣故。負債人將自己賣給債權人,以勞力工作償還他的債務)?假如一個奴隸受到虐待而逃奔他人,那人要給他提供庇護而不能將他交還那惡主人。此外,在本段落中我們又被教導,假如找到或發現他人遺失之財物應當如何處理;遇到一個需要幫助的人時應當如何行動;等等數不清的例子。總之,本段落具有功能強大的資料,珍貴、切實、而且和二千年前一樣的實用。我們只須將之現代化而應用在我們今天的生活裡。

我知道你在想什麽。這下面的經文我們又當如何看待?

申命記 21:18  「人若有頑梗悖逆的兒子,不聽從父母的話,他們雖懲治他,他仍不聽從, 21:19  父母就要抓住他,將他帶到本地的城門、本城的長老那裡, 21:20  對長老說:『我們這兒子頑梗悖逆,不聽從我們的話,是貪食好酒的人。』 21:21  本城的眾人就要用石頭將他打死。這樣,就把那惡從你們中間除掉,以色列眾人都要聽見害怕。」

首先,我認為我們必須記得,按照神來說,頑梗悖逆就和行巫術一樣,而聖經裡行巫術的刑罰乃是用石頭打死。既如此,神又怎會要我們對待頑梗悖逆的兒子不同於行巫術的人?雖然今日我們西方社會沒有這條法律,但不等於神已將它廢除。頑梗悖逆的人在他一生中必然遭受神的忿怒,甚至因此而早死。神的公正和審判是不能打折扣的,即使我們不能或不願執行祂的審判。即便我們覺得神的律法已不適合我們的方式以及現代自由的司法制度,這並不表示神改變了祂的公正標準。我可以向你保證,神不會改變祂的方式來適應我們;祂會繼續按照祂自己的旨意行事。神不需要我們為祂執行祂的公正,祂完全有能力獨自成就公正施行審判,不管有沒有我們的支持。人的法律不能抵消神的法律!這是否表示我們必須懼怕神?不,這表示我們必須順服祂,並且是出於愛的順服,而非因為怕受刑罰。然則我們如何愛神以至順服祂?

約翰壹書 4:19  我們愛,因為神先愛我們。

神這樣愛我們,甚至為我們以耶穌彌賽亞的身份降生成為人,為我們的罪孽付上贖價而死。我們接受耶穌彌賽亞,祂的愛就能激勵我們愛神。

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Sheria ya Mwanadamu/Sheria ya Mungu

D’VAR TORAH

KE TETZE – UTAKAPO TOKA

DEVARIM (KUMBUKUMBU LA TORATI) 21.10-25.19

 

Kichwa:                       Sheria ya Mwanadamu/Sheria ya Mungu

 

Torati:                          Devarim/Kumbukumbu la Torati 21.10-25.19

Haftarah:                     Yeshayahu/Isaya 54.1-10

Brit Chadashah:          Uri/Luke 23.1-25

 

Devarim {22:1} Umwonapo ng’ombe wa nduguyo au kondoo wake akipotea, usijifiche kama usiyemwona; sharti utamrudisha kwa nduguyo.
(22:2) Na kwamba yule nduguyo hayupo karibu nawe, au ukiwa humjui, umchukue kwenu nyumbani kwako, uwe naye hata aje nduguyo kumtafuta, nawe mrudishie.
(22:3) Tena fanya vivyo kwa punda wake; tena fanya vivyo kwa mavazi yake; tena fanya vivyo kwa kila kitu kilichopotea cha nduguyo, kilichompotea ukakiona wewe; usijifiche kama usiyekiona.
(22:4) Umwonapo punda wa nduguyo, au ng’ombe wake, ameanguka kando ya njia, usijifiche kama usiyemwona; sharti umsaidie kumwinua tena.
(22:5) Mwanamke asivae mavazi yampasayo mwanamume, wala mwanamume asivae mavazi ya mwanamke; kwa maana kila afanyaye mambo hayo ni machukizo kwa Bwana, Mungu wako.
(22:6) Kiota cha ndege kikitukia kuwa mbele yako njiani, katika mti wo wote, au chini, chenye makinda au mayai, naye koo ameatamia juu ya makinda, au juu ya mayai, usimtwae yule koo pamoja na makinda;

Nilicho pata kutoka katika  parasha ya wiki hii na nilicho andika kuhusu hakipatikani moja kwa moja katika maandishi niliyo nukuu hapo juuWhat. Nilichukuwa tuu sehemu hii kiholela. Nilifanya hivyo kwa sababu mada ninayo taka kuandika haihusiani na sehemu yeyote ya parasha lakini inahusu parasha nzima. Kwa hakika, jambo la kwanza lililonijia katika hakili nilipomalimaza kusoma  Parasha Ke Tetze, ilikuwa ni sehemu ya andiko kutoka Parasha Va’etchanan:

Devarim {4:7} Kwa maana liko taifa gani kubwa, lililo na Mungu aliye karibu nao, kama Bwana, Mungu wetu, alivyo, kila tumwitapo?

Mistari kutoka Parasha Ke Tetze hakika vinahusu tu mafundisho ya haki, sheria, amri na hukumu. Kinachofundishwa hapa, kikitumika itasaidia kuanzisha msingi wa haki ya kweli na taifa tukufu, kila kipengele cha jumuhia ya jamii imehusishwa kwa njia moja au nyingine katika vifungu vya Ke Tetze’s.

Kwa mfano, nani amesema wanawake wanabaguliwa katika Biblia? Naam,  Parasha Ke Tetze inawathibishia kuwa wamekosea. Katika mistari yake kuna sheria na maelezo ambayo yanaheshimu utanashati na haki ya wanawake. Nani alisema kuwa mabwana waliruhusiwa kudhalilisha watumwa wao(kumbuka kuwa utumwa mwingi katika Biblia ulikuwa ni kwa sababu ya kufilisika.   Mdaiwa aliuza nafsi yake kwa anaye mdai na hivyo aliweza kunyia kazi deni yake)? Ikiwa mtumwa aliteswa na bwana wake na akatoroka kutoka kwa bwana wake mtualiyekimbilia kwake aliitajika kumpatia makazi na asimrudishe kwa bwana mkatili. Aidha, katika Parasha Ke Tetze tunafundishwa jinsi ya angalia mali ya watu wengine tunapozipata. Tunafundishwa tutakavyo fanya tunapopata watu wanao hitaji msaada au usaidizi. Orodha inaendelea juu. Ujumbe unao patikana katika hii Parasha una nguvu, na unautajiri, inatendeka na inawekana leo kama ilivyo mia elfu iliyopita; tunahijika tu kuiweka katika wakati uliopo.

Nafahamu unavyo fikiria.  Vipi kuhusu mistari hii?

Devarim {21:18} Mtu akiwa na mwana mkaidi, mshupavu, asiyetii sauti ya baba yake wala sauti ya mama yake, nao wajapomwadhibu hawasikizi,
(21:19) ndipo babaye na mamaye na wamkamate, na kumpeleka kwa wazee wa mji wake, katika lango la mahali pake;
(22:20) wawaambie wazee wa mji wake, Huyu mwana wetu ni mkaidi, mshupavu, hasikizi sauti yetu;, ni mwasherati, tena ni mlevi.
(22:21) Waume wote wa mji wake na wamtupie mawe, afe; ndivyo utakavyoondoa uovu katikati yako; na Israeli wote watasikia na kuogopa.

Awali ya yote, nadhani tunahitaji kukumbuka kwamba kwa mujibu wa M-ngu ukaidi na uasi ni kama uchawi na adhabu ya Biblia kwa uchawi ni kifo kwa kupigwa mawe. Kwanini basi HaShem anatarijia tumtendee motto mkaidi tofauti na mchawi? Sheria hii haina nafasi wakati huu, haswa katika maataifa yetu ya magharibi,  lakini haimaanishi kuwa haiitajiki tena machoni pa HaShem.   Katika mikono yao. Haki ya HaShem haiwezi kupeanwa hata kama hatuwezi kubeba haki yake. Kwa sababu kitu hakikai vizuri na sisi , njia zetu za kufikiria na mifumo yetu ya kisasa ya kisiasa, haimaanishi kuwa HaShem amebadilisha njia zake za kufanya kazi kivyetu; Angali anatenda mambo yake katika njia zake. HaShem hatuhitaji kubeba haki yake.  Anauwezo wakutenda kivyake bila sisi. Sheria za mwanadamu hazipunguzi sheria za HaShem! Inamaanisha tumuogope HaShem? Hapana, ina maanisha tumtii, nautiifu wetu uwe upendo na sio kuogopa hukumu na matokeo  yake. Tutampendaje HaShem kiasi cha kumtii?

 

Yochanan Alef (1 John) {4:19} Sisi twapenda kwa maana yeye alitupenda sisi kwanza

HaShem alitupenda kiasi cha kuja duniani kama Yeshua Ha Mashiach kufa na kulipa gharama ya dhambi zetu.  Upendo wetu na kumkubali Yeshua kama Mashiach inatuwezesha kumpenda HaShem kama anavyo tupenda.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Човешкият закон/ Божият закон

Д’ВАР ТОРА

КИ ТЕЦЕ – КОГАТО ИЗЛЕЗЕШ

ДВАРИМ (ВТОРОЗАКОНИЕ) 21.10-25.19

 

Човешкият закон/ Божият закон

 

Тора:                           Дварим/Второзаконие 21.10-25.19

Афтара:                      Йешаяху/Исая 54.1-10

Брит Хадаша:             Ури/Лука 23.1-25

 

Второзаконие{22:1} Когато видиш изгубено говедото или овцата на брата си, да не ги изоставиш {Еврейски: Да не затваряш очите си към тях.} непременно да ги върнеш при брата си. {22:2} И ако брат ти не е близо при тебе, или ако не знаеш кой е, тогава ги прибери у дома си, и да стоят при тебе, докато ги потърси брат ти; тогава да му ги дадеш. {22:3} Така да постъпваш и с осела му; така да постъпваш и с дрехата му; така да постъпваш и с всяко изгубено нещо на брата си, което е изгубил и ти го намериш; не бива да ги изоставиш. {22:4} Когато видиш осела на брата си или говедото му паднало на пътя, да не ги изоставиш непременно да ги дигнеш заедно с него. {22:5} Жена да не носи мъжко облекло, нито мъж да се облича с женска дреха; понеже всички, които правят така, са мерзост на Господа твоя Бог. {22:6} Ако се случи птиче гнездо да бъде на пътя ти, на някое дърво или на земята, и в него пилета или яйца, и майката лежи на пилетата или на яйцата, да не вземеш майката заедно с малките.

 

Това, което извлякох от парашата тази седмица и за което ще пиша, не е директно от цитата по-горе. Темата, която искам да засегна, е свързана с цялата параша. Всъщност първото, което си помислих, когато прочетох параша „Ки Теце”, беше част от параша „Ва’етханан”:

 

Второзаконие{4:7} Защото кой народ е толкова велик щото да има бог тъй близо при себе си, колкото е Иеова нашият Бог близо при нас всеки път, когато Го призоваваме? {4:8} Или кой народ е толкова велик щото да има такива справедливи повеления и съдби, какъвто е целият тоя закон, който излагам пред вас днес?

 

Стиховете от параша „Ки Теце” със сигурност съдържат правдиви поучения, закони, повеления и съдби. Ако прилагаме това, на което Бог ни учи тук, то ще ни помогне да имаме едно истински справедливо и почтено общество. Почти всеки аспект на обществения живот е включен в тези стихове.

Например, кой казва, че жените са пренебрегнати в Библията? Параша „Ки Теце” показва, че не е така. В тези стихове има закони и повеления, които зачитат достойнството и правата на жените. Кой казва, че господарите могат да се отнасят жестоко със слугите си (помнете, че повечето случаи на поробване в Библията се дължат на финансов банкрут на човека, поради което той се продава в робство на кредитора си, за да може да изплати дълга си). Ако към слугата се отнасят жестоко, той можеше да избяга от господаря си и да намери убежище и да не се върне при жестокия си господар. Освен това в параша „Ки Теце” научаваме как да се отнасяме с притежанията на другите хора, ако намерим нещо, което не ни принадлежи. Освен това ни се казва и как да се отнасяме към хора в нужда. Списъкът е дълъг. Информацията в тази параша е богата, практична и е също толкова приложима днес, както и преди хиляди години.

 

Знам, че може би си мислите: ами този стих?

Второзаконие{21:18} Ако има някой упорит и непокорен син, който не слуша думите на баща си или думите на майка си, и при все, че те го наказват, пак той не ще да ги слуша; {21:19}  тогава баща му и майка му да го хванат и да го заведат при старейшините на града му и при портата на местожителството му; {21:20} и да кажат на старейшините на града му: Тоя наш син е упорит и непокорен; не слуша думите ни, разблуден е и пияница. {21:21} Тогава всичките мъже от града му да го убият с камъни, та да умре; така да отмахнеш злото отсред себе си; и целият Израил ще чуе и ще се убои.

 

Първо, трябва да помним, че според Бога упоритостта и бунтът са чародейство и библейското наказание за чародейството е убиване с камъни. Защо тогава Бог ще очаква от нас да се отнасяме с бунтовните синове по-различно от вещиците? Вярно е, че този закон не може да се приложи днес, поне в нашето западно общество, но това не означава, че не е валиден в Божиите очи. Упоритите и бунтовни хора ще изпитат Божия гняв в живота си, а някои могат да преживеят и преждевременна смърт. Божето правосъдие не може да се избегне, дори и да не можем или не искаме да приложим законите Му. Само защото на нас ни се струва прекалено или не пасва нашето модерно мислене и либерално правосъдие, това не означава, че Бог е променил мнението си относно справедливостта. Той няма да се промени, за да ни угоди. Бог не се нуждае от нас, за да върши праведните си съдби. Човешкият закон не отменя Божия закон! Това означава ли, че трябва да се страхуваме от Бога? Не, означава, че трябва да Му се покоряваме и покорството ни трябва да е от любов, а не от страх от наказанието или последствията. Как обичаме Бога достатъчно, за да сме Му покорни?

 

1 Йоан {4:19} Ние любим Него, защото първо Той възлюби нас.

 

Бог ни възлюби толкова много, че дойде на земята в образа на Йешуа А’Машиах да умре и плати цената за нашите грехове. Нашата любов и приемане на Йешуа като Месия ни помага да обичаме Бога, както Той ни възлюби.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Man’s Law/G-d’s Law – Ke Tetze

Ki_Teitzei

D’VAR TORAH

KE TETZE – WHEN YOU GO OUT

DEVARIM (DEUTERONOMY) 21.10-25.19

 

 

Torah:                          Devarim/Deuteronomy 21.10-25.19

Haftarah:                     Yeshayahu/Isaiah 54.1-10

Brit Chadashah:          Uri/Luke 23.1-25

 

Devarim {22:1} You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide yourself from them: you shall surely bring them again to your brother. {22:2} If your brother is not near to you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall be with you until your brother seeks after it, and you shall restore it to him. {22:3} So shall you do with his donkey; and so shall you do with his garment; and so shall you do with every lost thing of your brother’s, which he has lost, and you have found: you may not hide yourself. {22:4} You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way, and hide yourself from them: you shall surely help him to lift them up again. {22:5} an ishah (woman) shall not wear that which pertains to a man, neither shall an ish (man) put on a ishah’s garment; for whoever does these things is an abomination to HaShem your G-D. {22:6} If a bird’s nest chance to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the hen sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the hen with the young.

What I have gleaned from this week’s Parasha and what I have written about has not been gleaned directly from the reading I have quoted above. I just picked this portion at random. I did this because the topic that I want to write about does not concern any particular portion of the Parasha, but rather it concerns the entire Parasha. In fact, the first thing that came to my mind when I finished reading Parasha Ke Tetze, was a portion of Scripture from Parasha Va’etchanan:

Devarim {4:7} For what great nation is there, that has a G-D so near to them, as HaShem our G-D is whenever we call on Him? {4:8} What great nation is there, that has statutes and huchim (judgements) so tzaddik (righteous) as all this Torah, which I set before you this day?

The verses from Parasha Ke Tetze certainly contain just and righteous teachings, laws, statutes and judgements. What is being taught here, when applied, will help form the basis for a truly just and honourable society. Just about every aspect of communal social life is covered by one or more of Ke Tetze’s verses.

For example; who said women are marginalized in the Bible? Well, Parasha Ke Tetze proves them wrong. Within its verses are laws and precepts that respect the dignity and the rights of women. Who said that masters were allowed to treat their slaves harshly (remember that most slavery in the Bible was in lieu of bankruptcy. A debtor sold himself to his creditor and was able to, therefore, work off his unpaid debt)? If a slave was harshly treated and ran from his master the person he ran to was to offer him sanctuary and not return him/her to this harsh master. In addition, in Parasha Ke Tetze we are taught how to treat other people’s property when we find something that belongs to them. We are taught how to act when we find another person in need of help or assistance. The list just goes on and on. The information contained in this Parasha is powerful, it is rich, it is practical and it is as applicable today as it was thousands of years ago; we just have to put it into our modern context.

I know what you are thinking. How about these verse?

Devarim {21:18} If an ish have a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his ‘ab (father), or the voice of his ‘em (mother), and, though they chasten him, will not listen to them; {21:19} then shall his ‘ab and his ‘em lay hold on him, and bring him out to the elders of his city, and to the gate of his place; {21:20} and they shall tell the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. {21:21} All the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones: so shall you put away the evil from the midst of you; and all Yisrael (Israel) shall hear, and fear.

First of all, I think we need to remember that according to G-d stubbornness and rebellion are as witchcraft and the biblical punishment for witchcraft is death by stoning. Why then would HaShem expect us to treat a rebellious son any differently than a witch? Granted this law has no legal application today, at least in our western society, but that does not mean that it is no longer valid in G-d’s eyes. Stubborn and rebellious people will definitely suffer the wrath of G-d in their lives and they may even suffer premature death at His hand. G-d’s justice cannot be commuted even if we cannot or do not carry our His justice. Just because something does not sit right with us, our way of thinking and our modern and liberal judicial system, does not mean that HaShem has changed His mind about His justice. I can assure you that He has not changed His way to do things our way; He is still doing things His way. G-d does not need us to carry out His justice He is well able of accomplishing it on His own, with or without us. Man’s law does not mitigate    G-d’s law! Does that mean we are to be afraid of G-d? No, it means we are to obey Him, and our obedience is to be out of love and not out of fear of punishment or consequence. How do we love G-d enough to obey Him?

Yochanan Alef (1 John) {4:19} We love Him, because He first loved us.

G-d loved us so much that He came to earth incarnated as Yeshua HaMashiach to die and pay the price of our sin. Our love and acceptance of Yeshua as the Mashiach enables us to love G-d as He loves us.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Mp3: It is too Difficult

MP3 Sermon Title: It is too Difficult Speaker: Rabbi Yehezqel Date: 5774 August 2014 * Messianic Jewish Teachings Podcasts (MP3s). Teaching the Jewish Perspective on the holy Scriptures. Invite everyone you know to listen in with you! To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play Now, Play in Popup or Download.

 

Download (PDF, 178KB)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather